The Reg have been running stories on one of my pet hates the last few days – banks and online services that lock out those using alternative (or anything other than Internet Explorer on Windows) browsers and operating systems.

I’m not surprised that Natwest has been named as the most villainous site in this respect. I wrote to Natwest a few weeks ago because if you visit their site in Netscape 7, you get a message saying that they are testing in Netscape 6 (hello..? Wakey wakey web developers…) and if you try to access the online banking service using anything other than Internet Explorer or the five year old Netscape 4.* on Mac or PC you are denied access.

I discovered this page a few weeks ago and have been happily accessing my banking service using Konqueror on Linux while pretending to be a Mac running Netscape 4.7, and it works fine – the proof. Which begs the question, why? If the service works fine in another browser (the nasty menus don’t work but that is quite a relief really) why are they cutting people off from being able to use the service, and getting a bunch of bad publicity to boot?

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